Minimally invasive alternatives to posterior spinal arthrodesis

Posterior spinal arthrodesis is a name for open neck or back fusion surgery performed primarily through an incision made directly behind the spine, rather than to the side or from the front. With this type of surgery, a large portion of damaged spinal anatomy, such as a herniated disc, is removed. In its place, bone graft material is implanted and is kept in place by a mesh cage.

The surrounding vertebrae are stabilized using metal implants, rods and screws. One of the major drawbacks of this type of surgery is the potential for complications as well as a typically long recovery time.

Alternatives to posterior spinal arthrodesis

In many cases of degenerative spine conditions, lasting relief can be achieved with a course of conservative treatment options such as medication and physical therapy. Surgery becomes a serious consideration if weeks or months of conservative treatments do not bring the relief needed for a good quality of life. If you are asked to consider arthrodesis surgery, it is important to be aware of the full range of options, including minimally invasive procedures.

Laser Spine Institute’s board-certified surgeons+ perform minimally invasive stabilization procedures that carry less risk of postsurgical complications compared to traditional posterior spinal arthrodesis. These procedures include:

  • Decompression with Interlaminar Stabilization™ Device. A coflex® device slides between the lamina in order to elevate the foramina, giving nerve roots more room within the spinal column.
  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Bone graft material and a spacer is inserted through a small incision, without the need for forcibly retracting compressed nerve roots, reducing the potential for scarring and other injury.
  • Lateral lumbar interbody fusion. The affected area of the spine is accessed through the side of the body, which avoids the separation of lower back muscles and the cutting of bone.

Laser Spine Institute

Our minimally invasive stabilization procedures use small incisions to avoid unnecessary muscle tearing and allow our patients to have a faster recovery^ compared to a traditional spinal arthrodesis. If a physician or spine specialist has recommended that you consider posterior spinal arthrodesis or another form of open back surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute and request a no-cost review of your MRI report.* Through this review, our medical team can determine whether you are a potential candidate for a minimally invasive stabilization surgery or another one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.